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    Venetia
  Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:56 pm
venerable inertia
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Location: velocitating a straight line
INTERVIEW WITH SCIRRA CO-CREATOR, ASHLEY GULLEN

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The rest of the staff & I sat down in my email inbox lobby and had a little "back & forth" with the creators of Construct 2.
Here's what Ashley Gullen, Director of Scirra Ltd., had to say!:


Q.) How long had you been working on Construct (1), and how did the idea to make this program start?
A.) Construct Classic started in about 2007 being developed by a bunch of students on a part-time voluntary basis. Most of the other developers disappeared over the years, and now we (my brother and I) are developing Construct 2 as a full-time business.

Q.) After making Construct, when did development begin on Construct 2, and what information did you use to develop it (e.g. user feedback, extensive testing, etc.)?
A.) Construct 2 started privately in 2010, with the first public release in February 2011, just over a year ago. Construct Classic's development had slowed down because it had a number of architectural issues that were holding it back. We always work closely with our community and had discussed extensively ideas for a new version of the software, to be rewritten and redesigned from scratch. So Construct 2 began as a project to solve all of Classic's problems, using many lessons we learned the hard way!


Q.) What do you feel are the best features your program has to offer users?
A.) My favourite features are: the physics integration (just a few clicks and you can have things falling about realistically, I don't think anyone else has made it so easy!); the preview over Wifi feature (instantly test your game on real iPads, Android phones, etc); the particle effects system, and of course the fact it exports to HTML5 - it's the future!


Q.) What are some of your favorite games (that may have inspired you to make the engine)?
A.) Indie games like Braid and Aquaria are big inspirations - our goal is to make Construct 2 able to make exactly these types of game. Braid's time reversal system is rather clever though... although we do have a timescaling feature!


Q.) What has been in your experience, the biggest challenge in getting Construct 2 off the ground?
A.) For a long time we were working extremely hard and not getting noticed much outside of our own tight-knit community. This is gradually beginning to change, but I think one of the hardest things about a startup is trying to go from being unknown to a successful and influential company, when there are a lot of people trying very hard to do exactly the same, and often with a lot more resources.


Q.) In your line of work, what do you often look toward for inspiration?
A.) Google does very high quality engineering in almost everything they do, especially with Chrome, and a lot of it they release open source which is amazing. Mozilla are similar and do it all as a non-profit organisation. Between them they're inventing some incredible technologies, and we're keen to adopt new stuff as soon as possible and make them accessible to all the game developers using Construct 2.


Q.) What got you into engine design in the first place?
A.) Surprisingly, I didn't actually start Construct Classic - I was persuaded to join a group of student-developers creating a modernised tool in the vein of old 90s style Klik-n-play game creators. I think I was even reluctant at the time, but I agreed to make the basis for the runtime. Over the years I got more and more involved, and the other developers gradually went their separate ways, and now here we are!


Q.) Can you name some of your most favorite/best acclaimed games, that were made with Construct 1 or 2?
A.) Construct 2 is still young compared to Classic, but we've got some cool games on our Arcade already: Project Blaze Zero, Magí and Samira. As for Classic, it's still in development, but I can't wait to see The Iconoclasts by Konjak.


Q.) What would you say your long-term goal is with this project (of engine-creation)?
A.) We want to make everyone in to a game developer! If we're caught dreaming too big, we might hope that Construct 2 could be the go-to tool for HTML5, like Adobe's tools were for Flash web development. But I think more realistically we want to make the ideal tool for creative indie game designers to put together their games quickly, easily and enjoyably whilst not having to worry about the technical issues you always end up fighting when programming.


Q.) Tell us about you!
A.) I'm Ashley, a recent graduate living in south-west London working way too hard, and when I'm not wired in to some computer I like playing piano and just chilling out with friends.



Thanks, Ashley! Your story should be interesting to anyone else out there riding the internet tubes, looking to start up their own indie programming pursuit. And should shed a little more light on Construct 2, the engine!


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    gRaViJa
  Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:17 pm
Creator of Ascension
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Location: Belgium
Nice read. It's so great when developers are working together with their community so closely. I can't see Construct 2 fail.


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    Tuna
  Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:55 am
Probably cooler than you.
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Awesome Bro


Location: Everywhere & Nowhere
Good read. It's always nice to see the story from the people who are writing it.

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    joannesalfa
  Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:31 am
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Ashley is a pretty cool guy, eh develops an awesome game creator and doesn't afraid of anything

(lol, i know this overrated phrase, but seriously he is cool)


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    rosareven
  Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:27 am
House Vidae
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Location: Australia
Whenever Tom and Ashley bro-fist each other, a universe is created, purely generated from their game engine which involves physical explosions.


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